Testicle-chomping fish found in Sweden

ninemsn staff
7:13am August 12, 2013
The testicle-targetting pacu.
The testicle-targetting pacu.

A piranha-like fish known for biting off men's testicles has been caught in European waters for the first time, showing up off the southern coast of Sweden and prompting safety warnings to male swimmers.

A 21cm "pacu", which is normally found in the rivers of Brazil's Amazon forest, was caught last week by a fisherman in the Oresund Sound, a strait that separates the Danish island Zealand from Sweden's southern province Scania, The Telegraph reports.

"Keep your swimwear on if you're bathing in the Sound these days — maybe there are more out there," Denmark's National History Museum said in a statement.

The pacu, a relative of the piranha, can grow up to 90cm and weigh up to 25kg.

It is nicknamed the "ball cutter" for its attacks on the male genitalia.

In areas where they proliferate, fishermen have reportedly bled to death after losing their testicles to the fish's jaws, which are flatter and stronger that those of piranhas and ideal for crushing.

They have appeared in the PNG and several US states but never in Europe until now.

Henrik Carl, a fish expert at the Danish museum, told a local news outlet: "They bite because they're hungry, and testicles sit nicely in their mouth.

"And its mouth is not so big, so of course it normally eats nuts, fruit, and small fish, but human testicles are just a natural target.

"It's not normal to get your testicles bitten off, of course, but it can happen, especially now in Sweden."

The pacu caught last week is undergoing DNA tests to confirm its identity.

Source: The Telegraph

Author: Erin Tennant, Approving editor: Emma Chamberlain

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